El Segundo, CA — A world-class collection of BMW race cars — owned by Henry Schmitt, who’s raced in both professional and vintage events — are coming to Stratas Auctions’ online-only platform starting next week. Stratas launched in August 2020.
• Sebring-winning 1974 BMW 3.5 CSL IMSA “Batmobile”
• 1975 BMW 3.5 CSL Continuation (built to FIA specifications using an original chassis from BMW Motorsport)
• 2018 BMW M6 GT3 Race Car (raced to a second-place finish at the 2018 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps)
From his racing with the GT World Challenge, we found their Driver Download interview with Schmitt and teammate Greg Liefooghe.
Knowing that another of Schmitt’s cars — a 650hp McLaren BMW — was Vintage Motorsport’s July/Aug 2016 cover car, we wanted to learn more about his cars and racing — and he graciously answered our questions.
How long did it take to acquire the BMWs being offered in the Stratas auction?
I started seriously collecting cars in 1992. The Sebring-winning CSL was the first of this collection and was purchased from Vasek Polak shortly before his passing in 1997.
Why have you decided to offer the CSL for sale?
I am concentrating more on contemporary racing now, entering SRO & IMSA events with a M4GT4. It was a hard choice…that car is so much fun and easy to drive fast. I will campaign my xPTG e36 M3 (Daytona 1998 1st in Class) in vintage races.
What tracks are your favorites for vintage racing?
We are blessed to have so many good tracks to choose from. My four favorites are Watkins Glen for its technical challenges; Road America for speed and flow; Laguna/Sears as a home track that allows for more confidence; and Mont Tremblant for its spooky speed at T1, while the rest has a nice rhythm and beautiful setting.
What vintage organizations do you race with?
HMSA, SVRA, CSRG and VARA.